A Poker History Lesson
The game of poker has many variations but the standard idea behind the game is simple – players bet on the value of a card combination (or hand) by betting into a central pot. Whoever holds the highest value hand wins.
The history of Poker on the other hand is not as simple and is actually the subject of much debate.
Poker is argued to have many origins including the German game Pochspiel (from the 15th century), the Persian game of As Nas and the French game Poque. Poker has also been said to share an ancestry with the Renaissance game of Primero and the French Brelan (which spawned an English game called Brag).
Each of these games incorporates some pieces to what we today call poker – whether it be betting on cards, bluffing or the ranking of hands.
In North America, the game was said to have been played in New Orleans in 1829 (with 20 cards and four players betting on hands) which then spread across to the Mississippi river and further to the West.
The 52-card English deck followed as did other poker games such as draw, stud and the straight after the American Civil War. Around 1925 further additions were made including the wild card, low-ball, split pot and community card poker. It is also said that poker spread across to Asia due to the U.S. military.
Today, poker is one of the most popular forms of gambling around owing to several recent developments. The World Series of Poker, the ability to play at online casinos , the invention of the hole-card camera (changing the game into a spectator’s sport as well) and the vast amounts of movies and books on the subject have all been contributing factors to its success and popularity across the world.